Can you offer flexible work arrangements to your employees?
If the answer is ‘yes!’ you could be rewarded with more motivated and engaged employees.
The desire for flexible work arrangements doesn’t just come from parents or carers. While these employees need flexibility to continue working full-time while meeting their care obligations, they are not the only employees who can benefit from flexible work arrangements.
Who wants flexibility?
Jobgetter recently surveyed 1442 Australians to understand how workers and jobseekers view the job market and what they expect from employers.
Jobgetter found 60% of those surveyed said they have compromised their careers to meet care obligations, while 59% said flexible work arrangements were important to them.
While many jobs do not have the capacity to offer flexible work arrangements, flexibility in days and hours worked are achievable for many roles, while technological advances has made working from home feasible.
Some roles such as customer-facing roles or hands-on jobs are difficult to accommodate with flexible working arrangements.
For employees the benefits are clear. Less time and money spent commuting, the capacity to meet non-work responsibilities, better work-life balance and job satisfaction.
Employers taking advantage of this kind of tech and offer flexible work arrangements are increasingly able to employ and retain high-skilled staff. Ernst and Young found in 2013 that women working from home are more efficient and productive than those working in an office. Reduction in absenteeism leads to less money spent on unproductive wages and staff turnover.
Importantly, flexible work arrangements position your company as an ‘employer of choice’. Your ability to recruit high performing workers may be improved if you are able to offer flexible work arrangements.
On the flip side
However, there are also disadvantages for employers.
Disadvantages can include reduced contact between team-members or friction between colleagues who may see some colleagues given flexible hours or working from home, and view the arrangement as unfair.
To mitigate these issues you could set regular meetings or core days for employees to work at the business, and offer the same arrangements to all employees in roles that allow for flexibility.
Extra effort needs to be given to manage employee performance, and to sustain the culture of the business.
Finally, if you are considering flexible work arrangements at your business, remember some employees work better in the structured environment of an office. Talk to your employees to find out where people work best.
See our previous articles for more information about how flexibility can help your business:
The Fair Work Ombudsman also provides some great information including workplace templates on flexible working arrangements.